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Dallas – Now that he’s been through it, even Madison Bowey can laugh about it a bit.

It wasn’t any fun to be waived, as Bowey was on Dec. 9, and then sent down to the minor leagues. But there was a bit of silver lining. 

Grand Rapids, the Red Wings’ minor-league affiliate, was on a West Coast trip. Bowey’s one and only game, as it turns out, was in San Diego

So he got to spend a short period of time – injuries on defense quickly meant Bowey being recalled to the Wings – in San Diego, while he Wings were freezing in Winnipeg.

“Some of the guys were joking with me about it a little bit,” said Bowey of the demotion and roughing it in southern California.

Since being recalled, Bowey been on a mission to never be considered the odd man out of the lineup again.

Entering Friday’s game, Bowey had four points (one goal, three assists) in eight games while averaging approximately 17 minutes. Bowey was also a minus-player in one of those eight games, meaning his defensive game was steady.

It turned out to be a quick demotion to Grand Rapids – incidentally, Bowey had a goal for the Griffins in the game and helped Grand Rapids to a victory –  but it also appears to have sparked something in Bowey.

“It does motivate you a little more,” Bowey said. “I wanted to come up here and play. This is my dream, and everyone has dreamed of playing in this league and I know I can. It’s just about focusing on the little things and doing them right and working hard every night and defending hard.”

There was no doubt Bowey was angry and frustrated the day he was told he was headed to Grand Rapids. But again, looking back, maybe that spurred something.

Bowey is intent on making sure something like that doesn’t happen again.

“You realize it’s a tough league to play in and you want to be here,” Bowey said. “My main focus going down there was making sure I did all the little things right and do whatever they need from me.

“It was a short stint, but I learned a lot down. It was good to just get down there and get my confidence back and play a lot and I was ready to go when I got back up.”

Earning confidence 

Goaltender Jimmy Howard’s season has pretty much mirrored the Red Wings’ season.

A good start, but then it went gradually downhill. Now, Howard is working to get back to something normal and salvage the remainder of the season.

The fact Howard has worked his way out of slumps before in his 14-year career gives coach Jeff Blashill confidence Howard will do so again.

“The thing about Jimmy is, he’s a real competitive and it’s one of his best attributes,” Blashill said. “The way this season has gone so far, as a team and for him personally, I know it doesn’t sit well with him, and our team, with any of us.

“He’s going to keep competing like crazy until he has some real good outings.”

Blashill says part of Howard’s difficulties can be linked to the fact the Wings’ haven’t been good defensively in front of Howard.

“We weren’t helping our goalie, and sometimes you lose your game when you’re a goalie,” Blashill said. “It’s like the rest of the team. You need to get your confidence going.

“It’s like our team. We need to play good hockey and earn our confidence and find ways to win. When he gets back in there, he just has to play good hockey and he’ll earn his confidence and find his way to more wins.”

Ice chips

The players in the lineup that won Tuesday against San Jose were all available for the game against Dallas.

… This being the mothers' road trip, each mom was given a stylish red pullover with her son’s number on it. The group was at American Airlines Center for Friday’s morning skate and were scheduled for some sightseeing afterward.

“They’re enjoying it and we are too,” Blashill said. “They bring a lot of energy to the trip. It’s always fun, and it breaks up the monotony of the season.”

Twitter: @tkulfan